The Buckeyes entered tonight’s game against Northwestern looking to extend their winning streak (to two games!) and build some momentum prior to a regular season ending match against Michigan State. That they did, by moving to 21-6, 8-6 on the season with a 76-60 win over Northwestern. Since the Michigan loss, Ohio State is 2-0 in their 5-game stretch prior to hosting MSU to end the regular season. In a game that got chippy at around the 5 minute point, marked by player ejections (Cerina and LaQuinton Ross), the Buckeyes held their composure and overwhelmed the Wildcats in the 2nd half 39-27, after outscoring them in the 1st half 37-33.
Ohio State was led by four players in double figures; Amir Williams (16 pts), Sam Thompson (11), Aaron Craft (14) and Lenzelle Smith (14). Smith managed a double-double by pulling in 10 rebounds. In his first action of the season, Andrew Goldstein went scoreless. Darn it.
The Buckeyes shot 46% (23-50) and better yet, 44% (7-16) from the perimeter. The difference-maker was OSU’s foul shooting, as they outscored Northwestern 23-9 from the free throw line.
Northwestern was led by Drew Crawford (22 pts) and Tre Demps (14 pts). The Wildcats also shot 46% (23-50) from the field.
Ohio State trudged into the half with a 37-33 lead, after a spotty period where no one seemed capable of guarding Drew Crawford. The Buckeyes shot 52% (13-25) from the field, only 25% (2-8) from the perimeter. LaQuinton Ross led the Bucks with 13 points on 4-6 shooting, and he also grabbed 5 rebounds. Northwestern was also 52% from the field (14-27) and a not-bad ( 4-11) from the perimeter.
OSU slept-walked for a 5 minute stretch in the half as Northwestern went up 25-16 at the 7:24. mark. At 5:29, a LaQuinton Ross layup triggered a 9-0 OSU run to briefly give the Buckeyes a 30-28 lead. The teams essentially traded baskets to end the half, with the Buckeyes holding the 4-point lead.
At the first media timeout, NWestern had a 7-5 lead with Alex Olah (4) and Drew Crawford (3) doing the damage early on. At 12:04, OSU was holding a 13-11 lead. At the 10-minute mark, UN held a 16-15 lead, primarily because they were shooting 58% (7-12) while OSU was 36% (5-14), 0-5 from perimeter. At the under-8, NU was up 23-16, led by Drew Crawford’s 10 points. At the 4 minute mark, OSU was on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 28 apiece. At the 2:34 mark, OSU claimed a 32-21 lead from a Trey McDonald basket.
In the 2nd half, OSU blitzed out with 7 straight points, so Thad must have had a meetin’ at the intermission. At the under-16, Ohio State had stretched the lead to 49-35, as Sam Thompson had scored 8 of OSU’s 12 points at that point. At the 15-minute mark, Northwestern had picked up their 8th foul to put OSU in a bonus situation. After 5 minutes of play. Yikes.
At the 13-minute mark, OSU held a 56-40 lead. Both teams were shooting well, OSU at 53% (20-38) and NU at 47%. (17-36), but the difference was obviously at the foul line, with the Buckeyes having a 15-1 scoring edge. At the under-6, the Buckeyes held a 66-49 lead as there was a bit of ebbing and flowing, with Northwestern not being able to make a deep run, not the Buckeyes able to put the Wildcats away.
At just under the 6 minute mark, NU’s Alex Cerina got into at little ‘fuss’ with Williams, involving some attempted fisticuffs. LQR and Cerina were both ejected and foul shooting for both teams ensued. OSU went 4-4 and NU went 3-6 in the free throw exchange.
Ohio State’s next game is Saturday against Minnesota, with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 PM EST. Television coverage will be provided by BTN, check your local listings. Live Chat will be provided by tBBC, so please check back here, approximately 30 minutes before tip-off..